Colombia beats Cuba to play first ever CACG title match

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, August 1, 2018.- Colombia defeated Cuba in five demanding sets 3-2 (20-25, 25-11, 20-25, 30-28, 23-21) to play for the first time ever a title match in the men’s volleyball tournament of the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games.

It was a challenging thriller clash that excited all the supporters at the Humberto Perea Coliseum, after the hosts reached the historic title match. Colombia will face Puerto Rico in the gold medal match, having faced each other in pool-play where Puerto Rico took the win; while Cuba will play for bronze against Mexico.

The nerves were high after Colombia lost the first set under Cuba’s powerful scorers. In set two, Colombia was loud when they led 11-9 and the referees detected an improper player in Cuba’s line-up, putting Colombia on top with a huge 12-0 advantage. Sets were equally distributed, but the fourth set was the longest of the event until now, because of numerous unforced serving errors.

Colombia held a 70-60 advantage in attacks and Cuba led in blocks 15-11; both teams scored 5 points in serves. Colombia committed 30 unforced errors and Cuba a total of 31.

Liberman Agamez once again took charge of Colombia’s offense line with 36 points on 33 powerful kills, 2 blocks and one ace. Ronald Jimenez joined with 13 points and Kevi Carabali added 11 tallies. Miguel Lopez topped Cuba’s scorers with 29 points, followed by Marlon Yant with 17 points,  Osniel Mergarejo and Livan Osoria contributed with 11 points apiece.

Captain Juan Ambuila of Colombia said it was a beautiful feeling “this is a dream come true. For the first time Colombia reaches a Central American title match in the men´s and women´s division too. This isn’t over, tomorrow is our last breath and we’ll do it for our country, for the ones who love us, for our family, and for all the supporters that have been here every day. We played together as a team, it wasn’t our force, but our heart and the fans that helped us come on top”

Coach of Colombia, Eliseo Ramos said his guys perfom well “the team that does things better on the court wins, it’s not by a name. Obviously it was a great level and I am happy that the team came from behind. We need some of our players to get well from their injuries and who are making a great effort, mostly Liberman who has done a big physical effort”.

Cuban Miguel Lopez said they had too many errors, “we committed errors in crucial moments and they took advantage. We hope to battle for the bronze medal, the only thing we got”.